About the Animal Genetic Resources Collection


Cryobiology is the area of science that develops procedures for freezing and post-thaw utilization of somatic cells, gametes or tissues. Being able to freeze samples in this manner enables us to hold genetic resources from an animal in a state of suspended animation for an indefinite period of time. Upon thawing the samples the cells or tissue is viable and biologically active. As a result we can use thawed samples to reintroduce genetic variability.

How the Animal Genetic Resources of Canada Operates

There are three major technical components:

  1. Information systems to better understand genetic diversity in the collection of germplasm and live populations.
  2. Understanding genetic diversity for the collection of germplasm and live populations.
  3. Cryobiology, the discipline that enables the program to store gametes and various tissues at ultra-low temperatures (about −196°C).

In addition this program interacts with a wide range of livestock producers, researchers, and various industry representatives.

Genetic Evaluation

Genetic evaluation of the germplasm collection and live populations provides us with an opportunity to:

  • Assess the existing genetic variation in a breed
  • Determine how well the collection has captured a breed's genetic variation
  • Identify unique genetic composition of animals in the collection

Information Systems

Information is key to understanding the status, trends, and actions needed to better conserve and use animal genetic resources. The Animal-Genetic Resources Information Network (Animal-GRIN) serves as a portal for users to explore and use the genetic resource collection developed by AAFC.